Compromise proposals on ending union secret ballots

Sen. Arlen Specter is trying to revive the so-called "Employee Free Choice Act." It is well known that absentee ballots can be used to defeat secret ballots provisions for other elections. It isn't surprising that businesses were not thrilled with either suggestion.

Under a potential compromise on the contentious subject of secret-ballot elections, workers could mail in ballots during union elections instead of the bill's current provision in which workers would sign cards collected by union organizers. The compromise approach would theoretically preserve privacy and reduce opportunities for coercion by union organizers and employers.

The second change would restrict the use of arbitrators in contract negotiations to situations in which the two sides fail to reach agreement on their last and best offer. The current version of the bill calls for automatic arbitration after 120 days. . . . .



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